Every June, Apple announces and shows off the next version of iOS for your iPhone, but the actual update won’t go live until the fall (usually around September). At this year’s WWDC, Apple announced iOS 16, which is full of exciting new features like a customizable lock screen.
But what if you don’t want to wait that long to try out new features? You need to install the beta version!
In this article, we walk you through the steps required to get the iOS 16 beta. We explain how to join Apple’s beta programs and how to install and run the iOS beta on your iPhone.
If you want to install the full public version of iOS 16 (not beta) on your iPhone, we will explain how to install iOS 16 on your iPhone in a separate article. But, as mentioned earlier, you need to wait until autumn.
Updated 06/22/22: The iOS 16 developer beta is now available to registered developers. Historically, the first public beta comes out about a week after the second developer beta, though this seems unlikely this year. Apple only said that the public beta will arrive in July, while Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said it will most likely arrive in the week of July 11th.
What’s new in the latest beta?
The first developer beta of iOS 16 gave us a fairly complete look at the new features, except for a few minor things, but it was pretty buggy (as is often the case with first developer releases). We’ll update this article with more details about the content of the second developer beta as we learn more about the changes.
How to Install the iOS 16 Developer Beta
Each stage of the iOS 16 development cycle will be presented first to developers and then to public beta testers. If you are a developer and need to test your applications on the latest possible OS version, this version is for you.
First, make sure your device is compatible. Quick read Which iPhones Could Get iOS 16? (Mostly iPhone 8 and later.)
You need to register as an Apple developer. Joining the Apple Developer Program costs $99 per year.
All is ready? Good! Here’s how to install the iOS 16 developer beta in eight easy steps:
- In Safari on iPhone, go to developer.apple.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
- Go to Downloads section (you’ll find it in the menu on the left), scroll down to iOS 16 Beta and tap Install Profilethen Accept.
- open Settings Appendix. You should see your downloaded profile at the top of your home screen – tap that. If you don’t see it, go to General > VPN and device management and click there on the iOS 16 beta profile.
- Click Install in the top right corner to install the iOS 16 beta profile.
- Read the developer consent form and (assuming you agree with the terms) give your consent.
- Restart your iPhone.
- Now go to Settings > General > Software updatewhere you should see that the iOS 16 beta is available. Click Download and install.
- Wait for your iPhone to finish downloading the update, then click Install when prompted.
And if everything works as it should, your iPhone will now be running iOS 16 beta.
How to Install the iOS 16 Public Beta
This is the version of iOS 16 that most of us will be running before launch since the developer beta, as the name suggests, is for developers only. But public betas always lag behind developer betas and start much later: the first public beta has not yet been released and is not planned until July 2022.
When the iOS 16 public beta releases, you can install it using the following instructions.
- Click Sign Up on the Apple Beta page and sign up using your Apple ID.
- Sign in to the beta testing program.
- Click Register iOS device. (If you subscribed to a beta version of a previous version last year, you may need to delete your profile for it and then re-register for a new one.)
- Go to beta.apple.com/profile on your iOS device.
- Download and install the configuration profile.
- You may need to go to settings to enable the profile. Go to General > VPN and device management and click there on the iOS 16 beta profile.
- This will make the beta available at Settings app, under General > Software update.
Can I get the developer beta if I’m not a developer?
If you’re not a developer, but still want to install the developer beta, it’s possible. Just be aware that this is against Apple’s terms and conditions, and of course completely excludes any warranty assistance should anything go wrong.
You will need to find and download a copy of the iOS 16 beta profile on a non-Apple site. Google to help you.
After downloading the profile, install the beta using the same method above. You can go to step 3.
What is beta?
Beta versions are pre-test versions. Every iOS update goes through a beta testing phase before it’s officially launched, from small changes like 15.5.1 to game-changing full releases like iOS 16.
There are developer betas (registered software developers only) and public betas (for anyone interested). Both types go through several iterations—probably half a dozen—before a major launch.
Risks and Precautions
Please note, first of all, that beta versions are test versions of future software. They are, by definition, work in progress, and while they should include most or all of the features of the finished product, there will be cosmetic differences and, inevitably, some glitches and issues that will need to be fixed. Due to crashes and issues, Apple is primarily concerned about iOS beta testing.
In other words, don’t expect a perfect user experience. In particular, don’t expect existing applications (including those you can rely on) to work perfectly with the new version. In extreme cases, you may even find that your device is locked by the beta and cannot be used until the next beta comes out, which will hopefully fix the problem. It’s not uncommon for early beta software to also exhibit issues such as excessive battery drain.
At the time of writing we very much at the beginning of the beta cycle. Apple has only released the very first developer beta of iOS 16, and there are no public betas. (According to the company, they will start appearing in July 2022.) The software is likely to be unreliable, and you may want to wait a while before diving into it.
The closer we get to the final release of iOS 16, the more polished and feature-rich we can expect the beta versions to be. The downside of this, of course, is the shorter waiting time for the official launch, so you won’t gain much by installing the beta.
Assuming you choose to proceed, we can’t stress enough how important it is to back up your iPhone before installing the iOS beta, or better yet, use a secondary device rather than your primary iPhone. You won’t lose everything if something goes wrong while installing the beta, and you can revert to the latest version if you still don’t like the new software or it contains too many bugs.